2.3.2 Working with the Notes plug-in

Because the Notes plug-in is an independent application inside the Workplace Managed Client framework, it uses its own local databases and also its own server connections, namely to a Lotus Domino server in the network.

In the same way, the Notes plug-in uses its own credentials and a separate password. So, by clicking the Notes icon the first time in the Workplace Managed Client session, the Notes password dialog box opens.

Therefore, "Notes-in-Workplace" users need to log in twice to access their e-mail. At least it is possible to use the same password if you use the Domino LDAP service as a central LDAP source for Workplace.

After entering the password, Notes starts with the welcome page shown in Figure 2-9. Use the Notes Applications panel to start the Workspace view, as shown in Figure 2-18.

Figure 2-18 Workspace view of Notes databases inside Managed Client

While using the Notes plug-in, the Workplace Managed Client menus adapt to the Notes environment. Therefore, you can create a new Notes database using the File  Database  New menu, as shown in Figure 2-19. This menu is only available when the Notes plug-in is active.

Figure 2-19 Creating a new Notes database inside of Workplace Managed Client

In the same way, you can right-click a database icon on the workplace and create local replicas similarly as in the usual Notes client.

You can view and adjust replication settings in the Replication view, as shown in Figure 2-20.

Figure 2-20 Replication view

In contrast to the full Notes client, there are certain UI elements that do not display in the Notes plug-in. There is no tool bar at the bottom of the plug-in where full Notes client users expect to have things such as the network activity indicator, document security indicator, and location switcher. In order to perform actions such as switching locations, the user must use the menu options.

Note: Although the Notes plug-in does not have the full tool bar at the bottom of the client that full Notes users expect, the status messages that Notes displays are all captured in the IBM Workplace Managed Client's status bar, including things such as replication progress, quick search messages, and new mail alerts.

Another set of Notes UI elements not in the Notes plug-in are the "smart icon" bars. These icons give quick access to a number of operations that Notes client users might use frequently, such as looking at document or database properties, modifying text formatting, or attaching documents to messages. For example, when composing messages using the Notes editor, users must use key shortcuts or select the Text menu displayed in the top frame to change any of their text properties, use the permanent pen, attach or import files, or perform other common activities.

Tip: Because Workplace Managed Client makes extensive use of panels on the left side of the window, which reduces the size of the usable area on the right, it is useful to hide these panels by clicking the small arrow on the right side of the frame, as shown in Figure 2-21.

Figure 2-21 Reading mail is more convenient with a hidden Notes Applications panel

An aspect of running the Notes plug-in under IBM Workplace Managed Client that users might find confusing is the availability indicator at the top right of the window (see Figure 2-22). Though this is displayed in the Notes plug-in view, keep in mind that this indicates the availability of the user on the IBM Workplace Instant Messaging service. It does not pertain to the embedded Lotus Sametimeģ services with which full Lotus Notes client users might be familiar. Currently, there is no Sametime services for the Notes plug-in for Linux.

Figure 2-22 Instant Messaging availability indicator in the Notes view

The Workplace Managed Client Notes plug-in gives full access to the Lotus calender, and it is possible to communicate with other Notes users by proposing new appointment times, viewing schedules, and accepting meeting dates. Figure 2-23 shows the calendar.

Figure 2-23 Access your Lotus Notes calender using the plug-in inside Workplace Managed Client

Other Notes applications and databases are accessible using the plug-in, such as Notes discussion forums or document libraries, as shown in Figure 2-24.

Figure 2-24 Notes Discussion forum inside the plug-in

Documents stored in the Notes document library can be opened and edited using the editors of the productivity tools in the same framework. This is extended functionality over the pure Notes client, where you have to install a separate office suite to do this. Figure 2-25 shows the Notes document library.

Figure 2-25 Notes Document Library

Another very good integration point between the IBM Workplace Managed Client interface and the Notes plug-in is access to the IBM Workplace Managed Client document libraries when attaching files to new documents in the Notes plug-in. Selecting File ∆ Attach when in a rich text field of an open document in the Notes plug-in opens a dialog box enabling the user to browse the file system. The dialog box also contains a button enabling the user to select files accessible from the client's Documents perspective. Therefore, users can attach files from either their private document library or one of the server-based document libraries to which they have access directly to a Notes document. See Figure 2-26 and Figure 2-27. Additionally, when detaching or saving an attachment stored in a Notes document, the user has the choice of saving it to a document library.

Figure 2-26 File  Attach dialog box

Figure 2-27 Select an item from a document library

Overall, the Notes plug-in under Linux is a great mechanism to access a more complete Notes experience from Linux platforms than what has been available previously. It is a great way to help integrate Linux desktops into enterprise Notes environments that have previously not had comprehensive Notes application support for their Linux users.

Copyright IBM Corp. 2006. All rights reserved.